We went to the great NZ and beautiful, glorious and amazing don’t even come close to explaining what it is truly like. I was hoping to see snow for the first time and…well let’s just say that I wasn’t disappointed. The second day that we were there, the country experienced the biggest storms and snowfalls for a decade so I got to see snow. A lot of snow! And it was beautiful and more wonderful than I ever imagined it would be. Also I discovered that I LOVE mountains! I would never be able to get enough of them.
We really gave our gear a test too. The backpacks were an absolute success. The two small packs passed for carry on luggage so it made travelling so much more manageable. We packed everything we needed for 10 days into the big packs with plenty of room to spare which bodes well for future trips. The packs were great and all but I was most impressed with our clothing purchases.
Even with the snow falling and the wind howling, we stayed warm. We wore thermals
as a base layer but we went for really cheap thermals because we knew that our mid and outer layers were proper quality. We both had an Arc’teryx Atom jacket and they were absolutely well worth every cent. These coats weigh next to nothing, fold up so compactly that it can fit into your handbag but soooo warm!!! They house a little bit of magic I think. For much of the time, we didn’t even need our outer layers because the Atom kept us warm enough. The only time the soft shell jackets came out was if the moisture level was raised because the Atom isn’t very waterproof. My soft shell is a Rab and Michael has an Arc’teryx Gamma and they were also brilliant. We ventured out in every weather so our shoes were brilliant as well. Michael had some Merrell waterproof shoes for his wide feet and I wore gorgeous purple Saloman gore tex beauties for my long, thin, alien feet. Having the waterproof footwear was a godsend as we were traipsing through snow every day yet our feet stayed warm and dry. If only I could say the same for my backside!
We went skiing which I am not good at as it turns out. Michael was fine at it, of course. We also went on a hike along the Sawpit Gully Trail near Arrowtown. The temperature ranged from 2 degrees Celsius to -2 degrees Celsius but we still only needed out Atoms. This track took us a few hours to complete but we stopped along the way to enjoy the view, take photos and fly the drone. It would take much less time in warmer weather as well because less care could be taken. The track was exceedingly slippery because it was solid ice in many places with nowhere to gain purchase with your feet. Michael managed to manoeuvre his way without any problems though and in fact he saved me twice. Like – he literally saved my life!!! I was hurt pretty bad, there were some scary parts, I was challenged and it was the best fun I’d had in a long time. I would do it again in a heartbeat. There were so many highlights of the trip, too many to talk about, but I am so lucky that I got to have this amazing experience with such a beautiful soul. We had a wonderful time, we will be going back and we will be taking our Atoms!